Exxon Seeks Russian Sanctions Waiver To Work With Rosneft

Tyler Durden's picture

Just as the "puppet of Putin" narrative had gone quiet - following Trump's Tomahawk-ing a largely abandoned airfield in Syria - it appears the Russia-linkages stories are about to get restarted. WSJ reports that Exxon Mobil has applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from U.S. sanctions on Russia in a bid to resume its joint venture with state oil giant PAO Rosneft.


A military move clearly against Putin's interests and a tense press conference seemed to 'shush' the constant Russophobic propaganda from America's left, but just day safter Secretary of State and former CEO of Exxon Rex Tillerson left Moscow, The Wall Street Journal reports, Exxon has been seeking U.S. permission to drill with Rosneft in several areas banned by sanctions and applied in recent months for a waiver to proceed in the Black Sea, according to these people.

“Exxon is worried it could get boxed out of the Black Sea by the Italians,” said a person briefed on the company’s waiver application. Eni has been aggressively exploring the region in cooperation with Russia in recent years.


Exxon is seeking a waiver akin to those that have been granted by the EU to its rivals, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Tillerson is recusing himself from any matters involving Exxon for two years, and won’t be involved with any decision made by any government agency involving Exxon during this period, a State Department spokesman said.

It isn’t clear whether the request with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control was made before Mr. Tillerson joined the Trump administration. A spokesman for the Treasury Department said it doesn’t comment on waiver applications. An Exxon spokesman said the company wouldn’t discuss government deliberations on sanctions.


The sanctions target operations with Rosneft involving the transfer of technology, banning U.S. companies from deals in the Arctic, Siberia and the Black Sea, areas that would require the sharing of cutting-edge drilling techniques. The sanctions, instituted after the Kremlin’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014, also bar dealings with Rosneft’s chief executive, Igor Sechin,  saying he “has shown utter loyalty to Vladimir Putin—a key component to his current standing.”

Notably these requests are not unprecedented at all. American companies often seek waivers from sanctions, citing humanitarian, trade or operational issues, according to former U.S. officials. Companies operating in countries that are heavily sanctioned may seek waivers to conduct specific banking transactions or equipment purchases, for example.

The proposal to drill in the Black Sea has been circulated in various federal departments in recent months, several people said. Exxon is arguing that it deserves a waiver there because its exploration rights in the Black Sea will expire if it doesn’t act by this year, under its deal with Rosneft, and because some of its top foreign competitors aren’t similarly restricted.


The Obama administration granted sanctions waivers to high-tech companies operating in both Iran and Syria, arguing that facilitating the flow of information could help open up the repressive regimes in Damascus and Tehran.

We look forward to hearing from Schumer, Pelosi, and Waters - who we are sure will have plenty to say.

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blue51's picture

No mention of Halliburton and there recent contracts too .

gladih8r's picture

Good.  Making money makes more money than making war.

Insurrector's picture

But wars do have a way of redistributing the wealth.

PrayingMantis's picture


... T Rex or Rex I-didn't-want-this-job-my-wife-told-me-I'm-supposed-to-do-this Tillerson ( https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/22/rex-tillerson-i-didnt-want-this-job) ... in his biography here, http://www.biography.com/people/rex-tillerson-020217#!,  says ...

"Enjoying an impressive ascent, Tillerson in 1989 became general manager of Exxon's central production division. His responsibilities soon expanded to a global scale, as he was assigned to operations in Yemen and Thailand in 1995. Three years later, he was named vice president of Exxon Ventures Inc. and president of Exxon Neftegas Limited, giving him oversight of the company’s Russian holdings."

... and continued here >>> "He also agreed to a joint-venture arrangement with Russian energy company Rosneft in 2011, although that deal was suspended when the U.S. levied sanctions for Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Tillerson's ties to the region were such that he was awarded the Order of Friendship from Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2013."


... hmmm, it really looks like Darth Trump's US Secretary Of State T Rex's loyalty is undoubtedly with "America First" ... heck, it wasn't his fault he landed the US SoS gig only because his wife "pressured" him he's supposed to do it ...


Blankone's picture

I also have to wonder why Russia needs to partner with the US firms. Russia has long been one of the large producers of oil and gas, there is no excuse for not being independent in regards to technology and capability.

Or is it just a bribe to keep the US from imposing greater sanctions? Just like Turkey was offered a pipeline after taking down Russia's jet and Israel has been offered a free trade agreement.

BarkingCat's picture

If I were Putin, Exxon would be sanctioned out of any business in Russia.

Frankly, I don't understand why Russia or Venezuela or anyone needs to partner with a foreign company, unless they lack capital.

Any expertise that they lack can be hired. 

Let's just say that RusOil (my imaginary Russian firm) has the cash but lacks expertise in deep water drilling. Simply hire a recruiting firm in the US to find them a crew of experienced individuals in deep water drilling.  Set the pay at double what they could earn in the US and set the contract for some reasonable time period. 

Part of the expert crews job would be to teach the Russian crew members. 

It would be hell of a lot cheaper in the long run for RusOil.

eforce's picture

So the real reason for bombing Syria was to give him an excuse to go over there and have "a chat"?

mkhs's picture

So the evil-that-shall-not-be-named selling uranium rights to Russia is A-Number-One?

bowie28's picture

Interesting question, maybe it goes deeper?  What if major US & Russian energy companies pursue a policy of partnership rather than competing?  Could have some interesting implications for the gulf states as well as Syria. 

caconhma's picture

Russia is not an independant country:

  1. The central Bank of Russia is controlled by FED  and closely managed by IMF. Russia is on a colonial status.
  2. Putin is all fake President. He even cannot dismiss and/or discipline his own Prime Minister Medvedev or his own government.  Putin has a limited freedom to conduct Russia's foreign policy. Under Putin rule, Russia's population was reduced by 10%. Russia industry except for some defense companies belongs to US, EU, and China companies.
  3. As I indicated many times, the entire Russia's elite is not Russian anymore. All of them have dual citizenry and their families and their assets are US and EU countries and banks. Just look at Lavrov, Russia' Foreign Minister. His family resides in New York.
  4. etc.,



caconhma's picture

It become quite obvious that the Trump's administration is the most corrupt in the US history.

I did vote against Hillary for Trump but after, his brilliant victory over N. Korea, Trump is about to sell the US National interest to a highest bidder.

Lea's picture

Wars certainly redistribute the wealth. Your tax money ges to the US MIC.


mkhs's picture

"Neat."  Nice word.  We are now past "cool."

mkhs's picture

We are also past "sweet."

soyungato's picture

Hey Steven, what are you up to? Wanna do lunch ?

assistedliving's picture

now you understand why a man would leave the "throne" of Exxon Mobil to take that shit job SoS.

how many options did Halliburton grant that Devil former "VP"?

PhiBetaZappa's picture

Mr. Tillerson is recusing himself from any matters involving Exxon for two years, and won’t be involved with any decision made by any government agency involving Exxon during this period, a State Department spokesman said.

Hilarious - that line has to be from the Onion.

shivura's picture

didn't see that one coming

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

I sure hope Putin wiped that "Brown Texas" off his hand after that picture was taken!

Dominus Ludificatio's picture

That was an old picture. Putin refused to be photographed with his traitor buddy on this last visit.

To Hell In A Handbasket's picture

lol The USSA is a contradiction, a hypocrite and a joke. 

Wahooo's picture

The feds have sanctioned my income. Can I get a waiver?

soyungato's picture

Talking about joke, the peace-loving pentagon said there was no carrier going to Korea, contrary to what te white house said. Didnt Trump said the ships heading to Korea are very powerful, especially the submarine ? Didnt vice president Pence got on a boat in South East Asia and threaten Korea ? The pentagon openly make a mockery out of hte white house.  Hey monkey open your eyes and see who is in charge here.

HowdyDoody's picture

Pentagon to President - You're NOT fired, just sidelined.

mkhs's picture

Nice kitty, nice.  You're a pussy, no?

earleflorida's picture

perhaps its tyme to thaw the turk-russo-syraq`thingy over,'Brunch'?    4/18/17 menu bar @ "Puppet Masters"


nothing[s] a coincident,... nothing?!?

bowie28's picture

At least this clarifies all the scare mongering about nuclear war with Russia is phony.  Trump will continue proxy wars and bombing defenseless countries in support of MIC and Big Oil but when it comes to Russia and China and anyone big enough to fight back he will make deals not war.

The real thing to understand and be upset about is "Drain the Swamp" was no more than a marketing slogan and the corruption will continue unabated, if not accelerate.  I really thought it may be different this time.  It was fun while it lasted...


Gorgeous's picture

The sanctions target operations ... that would require the sharing of cutting-edge drilling techniques

The sanctions...also bar dealings with Rosneft’s CEO,  saying he “has shown utter loyalty to Vladimir Putin...”

There you have it.  Hard to make this up.  Good, solid, rationale to protect America's National Security interests per McCRayCray, Linseed, et. al. /sarc.  Certainly sanctions couldn't be other reasons, like geographical containment (Ukraine, Crimea) and punishment (BRICS, AIIB, Silk Road) and the battle for Caspian Sea energy.  https://fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/agency/fmso-caspian.htm


Youri Carma's picture

So the U.S. wants to divide Europe, at Europe’s cost btw, but very hypocritical doesn’t want to give up on it’s own interests regarding it’s own sanctions on Russia. We’ve seen that before:

Boeing-Lockheed Wins End to Ban on Russian Rocket Engines
8 May 2014, by Andrew Zajac (Bloomberg)

A Boeing -Lockheed Martin venture that launches satellites for the U.S. military won an end to a ban on buying Russian rocket engines as a federal judge said the purchases don’t violate sanctions stemming from Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

BarkingCat's picture

Didn't Russia say that once the contract is finished USA can find its own way to space as they will not provide rocket engines anymore? 


What the gell happened to the US manufacturing of rocket engines anyway???


sinbad2's picture

US sanctions never hurt US companies, the US always arranges it so other countries do the dirty work for the U$A.

That's what being a cunt is all about.

Davidduke2000's picture

The Russians should refuse dealing with exxon, it cannot be trusted , could place malware in softwares and major spying.

sinbad2's picture

They signed a contract, and Russia unlike Uncle Shalom honours its agreements.

But some of the leases Exxon paid for, expire this year. If the don't start drilling, they lose the lease.

DeeZ_nutZ's picture

how come this thread is so empty?  no comments?  nobody is tripping over in a dash to suck off putin?  why is that?  did trump play your little pussy asses like a piano?

now, always remember, invka cried and made trumpon to bomb Syria, t-rex's wife made him sing up for a job that he did not want. NOBODY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SHIT ANYMORE!  i

bowie28's picture

My guess is many here feel the same as I do.  Definitely disappointed by what we have seen so far and dealing with the likelyhood we were duped by a very slick salesman. 

However I still think this is better than if Hillary got in so no regrets there. 

I would prefer Trump or Putin or just about anyone else to another Clinton or Bush.  Maybe the alternatives turn out no better or even worse but that's a chance worth taking knowing what kind of people the Clintons and Bushes are.

I suppose you're still "with her"?

DeeZ_nutZ's picture

dude-guy... i am not wid her and never wus, i am curious, where are all putin lovers now?  typically, there is a line up of cunts willing to suck him off and now that there is a clear indication of shady shit everyone has they tongue stuck up they collective ass.

fucking cunts can't even make up their mind - who they with trump or hillary, but the bottom line is - they hate their own country and are will suck anyone off.  fucking morons.

Mr.Sono's picture

what's with you and sucking off? 

bowie28's picture

The "Putin love" you refer to is likely in response to the fact that the US Empire has military bases all over the world and has invaded, bombed or orchestrated regime changes in dozens of countries and pulled major false flags on their own citizens.  Yet our gov demonizes Putin as the reincarnation of Hitler when compared to the US Deep State he seems relatively harmless.  Granted he came up thru KGB and managed to seize and maintain control of Russia so there is no doubt he has done lots of shady and corrupt shit and is no saint and your point is fair that the praise of him is a bit silly. 

Can't speak for anyone else but I don't hate my country.  I mourn for what it has become.  I hate the corrupt treasonous scum that has been bankrupting it, stealing half of what I earn, violating the constitution and murdering millions of people all over the world for decades in the name of American Exceptionalism and spreading democracy.   

earleflorida's picture

ya know, your 'Grand Dutchess', 'Ivan`Yka', kinda rhymes with 'Tsarian 'Ivan'esque' Alexandra... just a century older[?]

Shue's picture

If one was to call you a Shit for Brains, I guess that would be a compliment. Fucking loser.

thisandthat's picture

There you have it. American exceptionalism: "we have laws, but they should only apply to everyone else".

Beans's picture

All war profiteers are equal, but some war profiteers are more equal than others...

Jack Oliver's picture

Bit 'rich' considering the illegal FUCKING sanctions imposed on Russia !!

That's the way the US government does things - assholes !!

dogismycopilot's picture

This is a good thing. 

1.) The Saudis and ME oil sheikhs will shit themselves

2.) It will bring Russia and the US together (make business not war)


sinbad2's picture

Nyet cowbow, and I shot your horse.

sinbad2's picture

There is a time limit, if Exxon doesn't get drilling within the time limit, it losses the leases it paid for.

oncemore's picture

US and cutting edge drilling technology?


Dear author, you look at Brazil and Vietnam for cutting edge tech.


This is not about the technology, but about the market about the money flow about lock-out of the competition.